Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger was sent home early from training by Thomas Tuchel on Sunday after a bust-up with one of his teammates.
According to a report in the Telegraph, the German centre-back had a heated argument with goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, which turned physical resulting in Rudiger being sent away by his manager. All this came a day after Chelsea's shock, 5-2 defeat to West Brom at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel saw his 14-game unbeaten start as Chelsea boss end on Saturday and reminded his players of the need to stay focused and calm post-match. But player frustrations apparently boiled over on Sunday.
The confrontation between Rudiger and Kepa was, according to the Telegraph's sources, sparked by the defender going in late on Kepa during a small-sided game. The keeper reacted and the argument turned into a shoving match between the pair.
Tuchel intervened and sent Rudiger to the changing rooms to calm down, with Kepa deemed clam enough to complete the training session.
The 28-year-old Rudiger reportedly volunteered an apology to the Spain international afterwards and there is a confidence at the club that there's no lasting bad-feeling between the teammates (both of whom were on the bench during the West Brom setback).
A massive result at both ends of the table as West Brom see out an emphatic win against 10-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge!- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 3, 2021
A glimmer of hope for the Baggies. :sparkles: pic.twitter.com/ixDEGqtewb
But these were not the only Chelsea players to fall out after their defeat on Saturday to Sam Allardyce's side. Blues captain Cesar Azpilicueta and his defensive colleague Reece James also apparently had "a frank exchange of views" in the dressing room, according to the newspaper.
The game on Saturday looked to be going Chelsea's way when Christian Pulisic put the hosts ahead. However a red card for Thiago Silva just before the half-hour mark put them at a disadvantage and West Brom soon started breaking through the Chelsea defence with alarming regularity.
"There is no need to concede five goals when you have our quality," Tuchel told BBC Sport post-match. "We are all in on that - myself included.
"We could not adapt to the situation, which is a surprise as we were leading. We are normally confident enough to defend, but we were sloppy and kept making big mistakes. It's tough to digest."
It might be a concern for Tuchel and for Chelsea fans that two of the club's higher-profile players apparently became involved in a physical altercation on the training ground.
However others will say it's no bad thing for players to be fuming after a poor result - and that there is no lasting harm done if Rudiger and Kepa quickly made peace afterwards.
Chelsea face Porto in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday and will certainly need to show a united front on the pitch if they are to reach the semi-finals of the competition they won back in 2012.
All imagery: PA Images
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